Philosophy of Music Education
I believe that music education is a core part of every student’s education. Every student deserves the opportunity to make music in an ensemble at the highest possible level.
The most important part of being in an ensemble for young people, in my opinion, is the feeling of belonging - a place to find “their people”. Connection, collaboration and purpose are the ultimate goals, and we get there through music education. I am a scholar of social-emotional learning, and I know through experience that music is a perfect medium through which to teach emotional intelligence, soft skills, and interpersonal skills that are so crucial in the tech-centered world that our students find themselves. Greetings, manners, respect, encouragement and care are at that top of our list of learning outcomes at the start of each school year, and I work to ensure that those skills continue to grow as the school year progresses and as students move through the program. Students need autonomy to make choices that influence their surroundings and their successes, and they need opportunities to experience struggle and small failures in a safe environment. They find this in the ensembles I teach.
Students know that they can expect to see versions of themselves in everything we do. From the literature choices, guest artists, model recordings and discussions, students know that diversity, equity and inclusion are a part of life in our band room and that I take representation very seriously.
In my classroom, students know that they must explain their learning and articulate the purpose and value of everything we do. From day one, students learn fundamentals of instrument care, posture and routine that is needed to create a safe environment for themselves and for their equipment. We build on that with skills of music literacy, working through competencies in rhythm, theory and technique. When these elements come together in the methods, arrangements and compositions that students play, they learn that investment in music gives exponential payback. We work with focus and determination so that we can enjoy the sense of accomplishment that we gain when we play well.
When asked what they most want for their children, nearly every parent’s reply would include happiness. The students in my classes are happy to be there. The ensemble experience gives them time spent on something beautiful, something exciting, something moving. Music feeds their hearts and their minds both during their school years and as they go out into the world. Joy is the lasting gift that a music education gives.
Lessons & Rehearsals - Grade 7 & Grade 8 - Spring 2020